thoughts on dutchman and multiculturalism in the u s 2

Over the past few weeks we have been spending our time discussing “The History of African American Entertainment” the artists who have made substantial impacts to the genre, to the culture at large and how we view these values, issues, histories, and social conflicts today as we reflect on the past.

We have been doing this with the vehicle and lens of Art and entertainment, the compelling stories and dynamic characters of our recent Black American History that have sprung from the roots, remembering’s and re-telling’s of what actually happened in our past and how we as a society wrestled with it then, and today.

This week you watched Dutchman. Here we have a playwright who are challenging our view of the past and how the struggle for certain races to succeed, forced to assimilate into a white dominated world view are hampered and faltered not only by modern society, the social norms and decorum or – code of conduct – of the day, but also by the personal struggle and need for self identity in the face of a very rooted value system (Jim crow) that had been lived in and ascribed to since the days after Reconstruction.

Now that you have done the reading and are able to reflect over the past two weeks, I would like you to wrestle with this quote from Notes on Dutchman.

“Baraka challenges the black community to produce art that portrays the human condition, and provides The Dutchman as a paradigm”………”It must be produced from the legitimate emotional resources of the soul in the world. It can never be produced by evading these resources”

– What is the human condition that Baraka speaks to?

– How is the SYMBOL of the Dutchman (The name of an infamous 18th century slave ship) and the train that the play takes place in provide a “PARADIGM” for more effective storytelling?

– How do we understand the human condition (as Baraka sees it) in a better way?

– What do you feel are “legitimate emotional resources of the soul“?

– What does Baraka mean when he says this? Do you agree with his stance? Why or why not?

Now, as we look at this topic through the lens of our present day and 2018, how do you feel we are doing as a society in providing entertainment and the telling of stories (Theatre, film, T.V.) about civil rights generally, black history, and how we have progressed as a society since the first time that Dutchman or A Raisin in the Sun, first made an impact on the American public and body-politic?

Start a thread and in subject put (your full name) –

Part 2: Your Comments: Read and respond to two other students’ answers. Make sure you are specific and identify who and what you are responding to.

Remember, your answer needs to be at least 150 words total and use proper English grammar and syntax, and you must reply to at least two other students’ posts.

here one student answer to respond

What is the human condition that Baraka speaks to?

Amiri Baraka urges that the black American writers to produce art that depicts this by using the Dutchman as paradigm. By producing high art that is reflecting on the human experience and the emotional dilemma. Further, they should portray human as they exist in the defined world

– How is the SYMBOL of the Dutchman (The name of an infamous 18th century slave ship) and the train that the play takes place in provide a “PARADIGM” for more effective storytelling?

We can assume that the train represents the slave ship called “The Dutchman.”. This represents the other side of society. As these two play an effective storytelling because just as the slave ships of centuries ago propelled the slaves along to their deaths without a chance for them to escape. The symbol of the train allows us to understand that the progression of society can move at different speeds and even come to a full stop, and people just go along with it. All of the symbolism in the play helps the viewers and readers to see the profound struggle of African American people in a society dominated by powered individuals.

– How do we understand the human condition (as Baraka sees it) in a better way?

Baraka understands the human condition as if it were a cycle. However, in order to understand the human condition in a better way we have to use art so we get a better understanding and experience the emotional as if it is our lives.

– What do you feel are “legitimate emotional resources of the soul“?

I feel that Baraka means that the experiences that people need to be drawn upon to personify the character of Clay in this play.

– What does Baraka mean when he says this? Do you agree with his stance? Why or why not?

I agree with him. As Baraka wants to make African American lives better. Further, color blind casting will lack depth because its characters will lack legitimate emotional resources. We are stuck in a cultural cycle and it has become so normalized that we don’t even realize it on a daily basis.

Now, as we look at this topic through the lens of our present day and 2018, how do you feel we are doing as a society in providing entertainment and the telling of stories (Theatre, film, T.V.) about civil rights generally, black history, and how we have progressed as a society since the first time that Dutchman or A Raisin in the Sun, first made an impact on the American public and body-politic?

When viewing this film in 2018, I can easily point out the issues that arise between Lula and Clay, but it is extremely frightening to realize that it is easy because the issues are so relevant. One could say that the entertainment industry in 2018 is becoming increasingly representative of issues relating to marginalized groups of people, especially because of the spread of information regarding the Black Lives Matter movement. Many of the cases that we all see that caused the rise of Black Lives Matter are much too similar to Clay’s situation: a young African American man who is well educated tries to stand up for himself and is literally shot down due to the ongoing stereotypes that surround people of color in America, perpetuated by the way people of color are targeted by law enforcement.

AND HERE ANOTHER STUDENT

What is the human condition that Baraka speaks to?

I believe the human condition Baraka spoke of is the discrimination and hardships African Americans were facing during that time period. African Americans were trying hard to earn a successful life in America, but society was trying to hold them back.

– How is the SYMBOL of the Dutchman (The name of an infamous 18th century slave ship) and the train that the play takes place in provide a “PARADIGM” for more effective storytelling?

The Dutchman was a ship that kept Africans as slaves and prisoners. The train sort of represents the Dutchman and how African Americans were “trapped” in the train while being carried along against their will. African Americans were not allowed to escape and are at the whims of society. The train never stopped once to show how America was always moving forward with no obstacles in the way.

– How do we understand the human condition (as Baraka sees it) in a better way?

If we were placed in the same position as Clay, we can have a better understanding on the human condition. By placing ourselves in his shoes, we can imagine the feeling and frustration in his situation.

– What do you feel are “legitimate emotional resources of the soul“?

I believe the “legitimate emotional resources of the soul” are the experiences and hardships of African Americans who been through the rough patches. Clay can be viewed as a direct representation of this.

– What does Baraka mean when he says this? Do you agree with his stance? Why or why not?

I agree with his stance to an extent because in order to depict how life was like, the audience must be placed in the shoes of the minority for them to experience that era.

Now, as we look at this topic through the lens of our present day and 2018, how do you feel we are doing as a society in providing entertainment and the telling of stories (Theatre, film, T.V.) about civil rights generally, black history, and how we have progressed as a society since the first time that Dutchman or A Raisin in the Sun, first made an impact on the American public and body-politic?

Today, films and T.V. has done a great job in providing stories and entertainment. We have made great progression through the many multicultural films that have shown up during this time.